Paul Isely and Harinder Singh, "Do Higher Grades Lead to Favorable Student Evaluations?" Journal of Economic Education, Winter 2005.
The relationship between expected grades and student evaluations of teaching (SET) has been controversial. The authors take another look at the controversy by employing class-specific observations and controlling for time-invariant instructor and course differences with a fixed-effects model. The authors' empirical results indicate that if an instructor of a particular course has some classes in which students expect higher grades, a more favorable average SET is obtained in these classes. Moreover, they find that it is the gap between expected grade and cumulative grade point average of incoming students that is the relevant explanatory variable, not expected grade as employed in the previous literature.